There is no shortage of fun-looking electric vehicles on Alibaba, the mystical and sometimes downright oddball Chinese shopping site. And while I normally find something decidedly more land-loving for my Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week column, this week we’re going to get a bit wet.
So grab some sunblock, inflate your arm floaties, and join me in the shallow end of the pool while we check out this awesome little electric sea scooter that will either have you cracking open your wallet or cracking open a new bottle of dramamine.
I’m certainly not averse to electric watercraft from the internet’s bargain bin. We’ve covered a few funky, cheap electric boats here before.
I even briefly considered going full Jacques Cousteau with an electric submarine, before deciding it might not be worth the risk.
And while this electric bodyboard doesn’t quite have the same charm as an electric boat complete with a duck head on the bow, it’s certainly a lot more portable.
At just 94 cm (3 feet) long, you can toss this electric splash toy in your trunk and then haul its 15 kg (33 lb) hunk down to the shore for an afternoon of fun.
The buoyant plastic body houses a powerful 3,200 W electric motor that powers a single large propellor for thrust. That’s 4.3 horses of plastic power at your fingertips. Or perhaps at somewhere else a bit more worrisome.
The location of the 6,500 RPM propellor makes me think I’m going to need a properly supportive pair of board shorts.
The sea scooter claims a top speed of 15 km/h, or a breezy 9 mph. While you’re not going to be opening up any cocaine-smuggling operations in the Florida Keys with those speeds, I’m sure it feels pretty sprightly in the water.
A removable 36V 12Ah battery offers up 432 Wh of battery capacity, which the company claims should give you around 60-120 minutes of runtime. From my experience with ordering random electric rideables from Alibaba and AliExpress, consider that to be a grossly exaggerated estimate.
But with a removable battery, you can always lug a few more down to the shore with you. The extra weight might be worth it to avoid listening to your kids argue over who gets to use the last 10% charge on the thing.
The sea scooter comes with something called an “anti-drop rope,” which I assume is comparable to a surfboard leash. Neptune save you though if the plastic hull is ever breached and the thing turns into an anchor with you attached.
For a mere $718, that risk might be worth it. The company apparently has some of these things in stock in their US warehouse, and the free shipping only sweetens the deal. Once those are sold out, it looks like their Asian warehouse charges a bit more to the tune of $999.99, plus another $168 in shipping charges to the US.
I’ve probably bought a few too many of my weird Alibaba electric vehicle finds lately, so I think I’ll sit this one out. But I’ve actually tested another similarly styled electric sea scooter earlier this summer and I must admit that they are a hoot to ride. Check out my video of the testing experience below, and keep watching long enough for the Baywatch nod if you want to see me do my best Pamela Anderson in slow-mo.
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